Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day: Poem

Back when I lived in Denver, I went to a poetry night called Cafe Cultura. I had been performing in Chicago for a few years and was trying to find my space in Denver. I loved the people who performed and all of their unique experiences. But, I felt like I did not have a culture of my own to write about. I come from a small, mostly white, mostly Christian, town in the midwest. I didn’t feel like I had a heritage or ethnicity worth writing and sharing about. And then, I realized I had my queer culture. I had my identity as a member of the LGBTQ culture. Though being a lesbian had featured in in many of my poems, I had never specifically written about it. This is the poem that came from that self exploration. There is a swear word, so heads up.

once when I was 15
while waiting in the lunch line
I tapped a boy I didn’t know
on the shoulder
and told him “I like girls”
he said “okay”
and turned away
I thought that was the end of it
that it’d be that simple
that everyone would mirror
his nonchalance
but instead my mom cried
and lamented she’d
never have grandchildren
my dad sprung it on his wife
and got us both kicked out
kids at school threw
pop bottles
and insults
but somehow
life was still good
the scenery passed
in a nauseating blur
but I had an anchor
I had an identity
with a new vocabulary
a culture to get to know
a community of people
who were now my family
with a history and a future
there were show tunes
at the lunch table
and RuPaul in cut-off jeans
I layered myself in rainbow
and plastered a smile on my face
in order to make it
out of high school alive
I had girlfriends and puppies
who came and went
I shared my bed and my heart
a little too freely
I outgrew the rainbows
because gay isn’t
my only label
my dad divorced
that bitch eventually
and my mom knows
I’m baby crazy
but I still wish
I could just tap people
on the shoulder
and tell them
point blank
that I like girls

A year after writing this, I was finally a mom and I have barely written (poetry) since. I mostly feel disconnected from my queer identity but I am okay with that for now. I am nearly invisible most days as a lesbian because people see my mom identity first and foremost. I am working to teach my son about this part of our family’s culture and he surprised me a few weeks ago by stating the goose family at the nature preserve could be two moms. This wasn’t an identity I was born knowing, but one I grew into and claimed.

Here’s the list for Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day.

About JennP

Single mom by choice, lesbian, natural living, parenting, car free, Chicago.Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment!
This entry was posted in family, LGBTQ, Parenting, Poetry, Single Mother by Choice - SMC and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day: Poem

  1. kayrosey says:

    It’s funny to me that ‘lesbian’ is about the only thing people can see about me (when they find out anyway), but it’s not even in my top 5 descriptors or labels I have for myself!

  2. JennP says:

    Straight people peg you as lesbian? I feel like only gay people see me, but I interact with so few these days.

  3. kayrosey says:

    It’s rare for a straight person to think I’m a lesbian until I tell them, of course other lesbians know right away. But, my gayness comes up pretty quickly because of the kids. You can only play the neutral pronoun game for so long before it gets weird. I’m not at all in the closet, but I try to make an impression without people knowing I’m gay since they often fixate on that and don’t see anything else.

  4. JennP says:

    Totally! Since I don’t have a partner I don’t usually play the “say her or them” game in my head.

  5. teresachase says:

    This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.❤️

  6. Dana says:

    Thank you for sharing your poem on Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day!

  7. Lindsay says:

    You’re very talented! Loved reading this and could really feel the emotion behind it.

  8. JennP says:

    🙂 thanks. I think I only performed it once. I miss writing and performing. I even recorded a cd at one point.

  9. This is a beautiful poem. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. JennP says:

    Awe, thank you for reading!

  11. Pingback: Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day 2017: Master List of Posts - Mombian

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